Master of Religious Leadership (MRL)

Shelvis Smith-Mather in South Sudan

Master of Religious Leadership (MRL)

The Master of Religious Leadership is designed to enhance the leadership potential of those interested in Christian service.

Conversations with prospective students and church leaders reveal increased desire for theological education opportunities aimed at preparing students for forms of ministry beyond congregational-based pastoral ministry. These areas include pastoral care, conflict transformation, missions and ministries with youth. It is this interest that MRL intends to address.

This program offers students interested in specialized ministries a graduate theological program that provides a biblical, historical and practical foundation for their work.

Cultivate your leadership potential. Take your call to the next level by enhancing the skills you need to lead.

Five areas of focus. Concentrations that reflect your strengths: Worship and Music, Youth, Pastoral Care, Mission and Evangelism, and Peacebuilding.

Practical skill-building. Supervised internships that put you right in your chosen field, providing invaluable experience in real settings.

Benefit from the best. Cutting-edge programs from distinguished faculty offering real preparation for Christian leadership in the church and beyond.

For more information about the MRL program, contact Candler’s Admissions Office at 404.727.6326 or candleradmissions@emory.edu

Credit Hours
The 48-credit hour curriculum is structured to be completed in two years of full-time study; the maximum length of time allowed to complete the program is six years.

Curriculum
Students must complete specifically required courses such as Methods of Social and Congregational Analysis, core courses in Bible, History, Theology, Ethics, Leadership and Administration, Church and Community Ministries, and six courses in one of the five concentrations.

In addition to classes, students must complete six hours of contextualized education in social ministry or ecclesial settings aligned with the program’s five concentrations.

Read more about the MRL degree requirements.

The MRL concentrations are based on strengths of Candler’s full-time faculty and reflect critical needs for leadership in church and society. MRL students may choose to concentrate in any one of the following areas:

Mission, Evangelism and World Christianity produces practitioners who are critically aware of the complexity of the church universal as it engages in God’s mission in the world.

Justice, Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation contributes to the formation of religious leaders who are equipped to engage conflict constructively within their congregations and their communities.

Pastoral Care prepares students to provide general pastoral care in congregational and community settings and in chaplaincy contexts. This concentration also provides initial training for those who may seek more advanced training in pastoral theology or pastoral counseling.

Ministries with Youth prepares students for a range of ministries with youth in and beyond the congregation.

Worship and Music equips music and worship leaders with creative and faithful ways to integrate music and worship.

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"The Masters of Religious Leadership program offers a unique educational opportunity that combines comprehensive biblical studies with coursework that emphasizes hands-on application in a chosen area of service. I believe that the Justice, Peacebuilding, and Conflict Transformation concentration will enhance my knowledge and skills in effective interaction and resolution with people, not only in my church, but also in my everyday life experiences."
-Catherine Strate, MRL '16